The Protein and B Vitamins Lies They Tell About Veganism

I used to listen to a bi-monthly health and nutrition public radio program on radio station WMNF.

On the program, a licensed nutritional counselor named Eve Prang Plews accurately warns about bad health effects of pollution, pesticides, herbicides, junk foods, fast foods, GMOs, and unhealthy lifestyles.

I didn’t become vegan until 2015 because I believed Plews when she said vegans were the most unhealthy people she sees in her health counseling practice.

Plews never misses an opportunity to slag veganism by claiming a vegan diet doesn’t provide enough protein, minerals, and B vitamins.

In 2015, after researched proved that her anti-vegan ideas were incorrect, I realized that for the sake of morality and health I had to give up all animal food products.

And now that I’ve gone vegan, I’ve discovered that the fears Plews planted in me about B vitamins, other nutrients, and protein were all unfounded, as long as I understood the simple and easy to follow concepts of whole-food organic vegan eating.

Listening to Plews, who also has a thriving in-person practice in Sarasota, Florida, you’d say she seems well-meaning, caring, and knowledgeable about many health topics.

But her unfounded prejudice against vegans and veganism is a serious problem for her and her listeners.

On that topic,  she’s just another lemming in the vast herd of deluded animal-harming humans culturally programmed to believe in two very damaging paradigms: speciesism, and carnism.

Speciesism tells us we have the right to do whatever we want to the earth and innocent animals, including exploit animals for food.

It’s the selfish belief that our species is ultimately the only one that has rights.

We use speciesism to justify killing and otherwise enslaving other animal species– not for “survival,” but for fun, gluttony, pride and ego, and for blood lust.

The second paradigm almost all humans are brainwashed into believing is called “carnism.”

Carnism is the idea that humans eating other animals is a good thing to do and has no moral violation attached to it.

Carnism fosters the worldwide animal enslavement and slaughter industry, creating immense suffering for billions of innocent, sentient animals.

On the radio show, I heard Plews constantly extolling the virtues of eating animals, while downplaying the blatant harms that accrue to humans and “food animals” because of our non-vegan dietary choices.

Plews has recipes for meat and other animal products on her website.

Before I went vegan, when I was eating the kind of diet Plews recommends, I noticed that whenever I ate even small amounts of meat, poultry, dairy, fish, and eggs, I felt sick, sluggish, fat, and had digestive problems.

I wondered why even though I did hardcore exercise nearly every day of the week, I was at least 50 pounds overweight.

I wondered why the World Health Organization warns that eating meat and processed meat is as harmful as smoking cigarettes.

I wondered what I could do about my guilty conscience, which bothered me every time I consumed animal food products.

I have to tell you.. if you don’t have a guilty conscience about eating other animals, I wonder if you have a conscience at all.

I’m a deep ecologist animal lover who’s seen undercover videos showing animals enslaved, tortured, butchered alive, and otherwise abused to provide the animal food products that Plews and other carnism advocates claim are healthy to eat.

Eggs, dairy, fish, beef, pork, lamb, etc.– whatever euphemism you use, and no matter if you tell yourself it’s from a “free-range, humane farm,” it’s all produced by exploiting and harming sentient animals.

So I went vegan in December, 2015.

The first effect was my conscience is now clear. I can look animals in the eyes and assure them my dietary choices aren’t causing harm to their kin.

The ongoing effects are I’ve lost 50 pounds, my skin has cleared up, my mental clarity has improved, my athletic performance has reset to what it was when I was 25 years younger, and my food bill has dropped.

I now can run 7-8 miles per day. I swim 2 miles per day in the open ocean.

On some days, I also bicycle 20 miles.

I’m in my late 50s, feeling like I’m in my 20s.

Going vegan turned the clock back!

Do I have B vitamins deficiencies, calcium, iron, or protein deficiencies as the Plews predicted?

Hell no!

I recently had a doctor test me six months after I stopped eating all meat, fish, and dairy, and I don’t have any deficiencies.

My lean muscle mass and exercise performance have increased now that I’m on a plant-based diet!

The doctor says I’m in the top .5 percentile when he examined health indicators such as LDL cholesterol, and that I’m healthier than most people 30 years younger than me.

I eat organic, plant-based foods rich in protein and/or B vitamins, such as beans, rice, chlorella, hempseeds, fermented foods, leafy-green veggies, legumes, and raw cacao beans.

I avoid all processed foods, including plant oils and tofu.

I’m leaner, stronger, and happier than I’ve been in years.

If you have any worries that being vegan will deprive you of protein, B vitamins, Omega-3s, or other crucial nutrition, consult an intelligent naturopathic or holistic physician, and you’ll find out veganism is by far healthier than carnism or even vegetarianism.

In rare cases, your particular metabolism, genetics, lifestyle, health issues or body type may predispose you to deficiencies in protein, B vitamins, Omega 3s problems.

These problems happen in some people regardless of their dietary choices.

Your physician can tell you about vegan supplements that erase any deficiencies.

Loving Guilty Pleasures Leads to Lies About Veganism

There’s a hidden psychological reason that Eve Prang Plews preaches against veganism.

The problem is, people such as Eve Prang Plews dearly love eating animal foods.

It’s one of their most cherished pleasures and they don’t care enough about the harms their food pleasures create for the animals they eat.

They don’t want to feel bad about their dietary choices. So they look for “evidence” to justify their dietary choices that harm innocent animals.

And then they spread bogus information that discourages people from becoming or staying vegan.

Plews has been brainwashed by the multi-billion dollar animal exploitation industries that dominate nutritional training paradigms in academia and at the USDA.

She mouths anti-vegan propaganda put out by craven, profit-driven corporations that sell flesh foods, eggs, fish, and dairy.

She doesn’t understand nutrition as well as she claims she does.

Many people on all kinds of diets make mistakes in the ratios and sources of protein, carbs, and fats they intake, and in the amount of calories they take in.

Instead of telling people to quit veganism like Plews does, if she was a truly intelligent and creative health counselor, she’d advise them how to adjust their vegan diet to make it work better.

The simple fact is whole food vegans have far lower rates of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and other disorders than do meat-eaters and vegetarians.

Take a look at the videos in this article from the fitness expert who calls himself “Vegan Gains.”

He doesn’t look weakened by veganism, does he?

Plews should educate herself, by watching videos like this one:

What’s really sad is that when esteemed vegan scientists contacted WMNF and proposed an on-air debate between Plews and a scientist who knows that veganism is the healthiest dietary choice, the station’s programming director Rob Lorei REFUSED to air the debate!

On his own radio show, Lorei is always going on and on about justice, fairness, free speech, open exchange of ideas.

But when it comes to Plews and her lies about vegans, he won’t allow anyone to say anything to challenge her on his radio station.

That’s why I stopped listening to WMNF, and stopped donating to it.

The really ironic thing is, WMNF portrays itself as a “progressive” radio station.

It even has a fantastic, unique, world-class weekly show for animal lovers, called Talking Animals, that features interviews with the world’s leading animal scientists and advocates.

WMNF portrays itself as an advocate for humans oppressed and exploited by powerful individuals and organizations.

Its political rants are about underpaid fast food workers, illegal immigrants, police misconduct, racism, prejudice against LGBTQ and similar humanist concerns.

And all that is good.

But you’d think they’d extend their proclaimed compassion to the BILLIONS of innocent animals slaughtered every year in the USA to feed people like Eve Prang Plews!

If they truly wanted to serve the public interest, they’d have had the vegan scientist on the air with Plews, and let the public hear both sides of the vegan debate.

Why does Rob Lorei not allow a vegan scientist to debate Plews on the air? I can guarantee you Rob Lorei consumes animal food products.

He’s part of the carnism and specieism team, and has his guilty food pleasures to protect.

The bottom line is, when I stopped following the advice of Eve Prang Plews and adopted a vegan diet, I became healthier than ever.

I guarantee you I’m healthier than Plews or Lorei, healthier than almost anyone who eats animal food products, even people half my age!

So don’t let anyone scare you away from going vegan.

It’s the best thing you can do for yourself, for innocent animals, and for the biosphere.

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Vegan Parents, Vegan Children: Strong, Ethical, Healthy

Being a parent is probably the most important social role a person can take on.

And being a vegan parent is the most challenging form of parenting.

That’s because vegan parents are guiding children to be part of the very tiny minority of humans who prioritize empathy, ethics, and integrity when it comes to how they interact with animals and the earth.

Vegan parenting takes place within the cruel confines of a technoindustrial grid built from the blood and bones of innocent animals and the planet.

In a world where our entire human culture and infrastructure is constructed from gouging and otherwise using up the earth and its processes, and from imprisoning, exploiting, and killing BILLIONS of animals yearly, it’s hard to raise a gentle, kind, self-restrained child who believes harming  animals and the earth is wrong.

Our entire capitalist society is based on a con game in which individuals and businesses capture our minds as soon as we’re born so they can control what we perceive, think, and believe.

The biggest con of all tells we’re the “best” animal on the planet, so we have the right to do whatever we want to the planet and all other animals.

This is why 99.9% of the people think that torturing, killing, and eating other sentient animals is absolutely acceptable.

Hunting and fishing are enshrined as “nice outdoors things to do.”

Most parents feed their kids dead animal parts and products made from milk meant for baby cows.

Cruelty is an unavoidable aspect of modern food production. Being vegan is a rebuke against that cruelty.

It requires extraordinary courage and diligence to be a vegan parent, and I’m here to help you do the job well, and be proud of your efforts.

The War on Vegan Parents

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are falsely told that being a vegan isn’t good for their children.

Government agencies have tried to steal children away from vegan and vegetarian parents, acting under the dubious assumption that depriving children of flesh foods and dairy is bad for their health.

You see alarmist media articles such as this one, in which various experts (and the so-called journalist) are clearly shilling for a meat and dairy diet for children.

I have no problem calling out anti-vegan propagandists for what they are: liars.

The fact is, vegan moms are the healthiest moms, and their children are the healthiest children, as long as the parents follow sound nutritional advice as provided by ethical scientific and medical organizations like the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (read their dietary advice for children, here).

Ironically, it’s children whose mothers eat the standard American diet rich in meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, fish, and processed foods who are often born with or soon experience health problems created by that diet, especially if parents feed animal foods and processed foods to newborns and toddlers.

There are plenty of obese, pre-diabetic, and other sick children whose illnesses come from a non-vegan diet.

Non-vegan children are often fed breast milk substitute formulas that contain materials derived from animal exploitation, along with hormones, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, artificial flavors, sugars, and other problematic materials found in processed and non-vegan, non-organic foods.

A vegan child, eating a properly-balanced vegan diet derived from organic grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and other vegan sources, has an optimum diet from a nutritional and ethical perspective!

Raising Ethical, Kind Children in an Immoral, Unkind World

Another issue for vegan parents is having the courage to raise miniature vegan samurais.

The vegan parent is raising ethical, animal-defending warriors who are surrounded by a culture of death.

Some parents are afraid to educate their children about the realities of the dark forces at work in our corrupted world.

Other parents, in their admirable but misguided zeal not to “force veganism” onto their children like some parents force religious choices on their children, are unwilling to raise their children vegan, opting instead to “let their children make the choice.”

This is an odd and defeatist way of parenting, and parents rarely have this “let them make their own choices” approach for other issues that are as important as diet.

We know children don’t inherently know what’s right to eat.

In fact, they have to be trained about almost everything—how to use the toilet, how to walk and talk, how to interact with other humans, how to avoid danger, how and what to eat.

It’s not dictatorial or tyrannical for parents to provide only vegan food for their kids, and to explain to their kids (when the kids can understand such explanations) why vegan food is the family’s dietary choice.

When vegan parents are Vegan Samurai rather than Vegan Lite, they refuse to buy non-vegan foods for their kids and they work hard to ensure their children aren’t snared by non-vegan foods and the desire for them that come from influences outside the home.

Remember: carnism (the belief that humans should eat animals), is taught.

It’s a meme brainwashed into society by government, industry, family, and socialization.

The US government’s “food pyramid” and other USDA eating guidelines are wholly the result of animal food industry lobbying and pay-offs, rather than objective, holistic nutritional science.

It isn’t until children have been brainwashed by the dominant death culture that runs our world that they begin to think of other animals as “food.”

When vegan children see a cow, chicken, fish, rabbit, pig, or other animal, they don’t immediately rush over and start biting the animal, trying to eat it!

In fact, they’re more likely to identify with the animal and find it fascinating, cute, cuddly.

Well-raised children look at the world with innocent eyes that are full of love and empathy.

But when parents allow children to watch television, animal food commercials quickly program children to see other animals as burgers, wings, chicken nuggets, barbecued ribs, fried fish, and other food items.

When parents teach their kids to hunt or fish, they’re teaching cruelty and killing.

When vegan children socialize with non-vegan children, the dominant culture will try to make them feel like weirdoes because they don’t eat dead animals or drink milk meant for baby cows.

Vegan kids go to birthday parties, pool parties, picnics, the school cafeteria, relative’s houses, friend’s houses, and other places where pizza, ribs, steaks, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and other non-vegan foods are the only food choices.

Vegan parents find out that their relatives, especially the kid’s grandparents, are covertly or overtly trying to subvert veganism, giving kids bad foods, telling the kids veganism is wrong, slagging the vegan parents.

Thus, Vegan Samurai parents have to be very vigilant as they manage the educational and social environments for their children.

We must realize that society and 99% of the people around us are pressuring our kids to participate in an industrial food system that kills billions of animals per year in the United States.

Who’s Trying to Corrupt Your Kids?!?

Just like you don’t want your children going to a school, social event, relative’s house, or friendship setting where cigarette smoking, alcoholism, profanity, sexual perversion, or other antisocial behaviors are on display, you don’t want your vegan children hanging around with people who try to get your kids to eat animals, dairy products, and junk food.

Part of being a parent drawing boundaries for and around your child, to protect them from the world.

We all know about and detest child sexual predators, but your children are subject to a more generalized form of predation called consumer capitalism.

From the time your child is born, the outside world is trying to hook her attention to make her a consumer, a customer, a client.

Corporations try to get your kids hooked on miniaturized, ludicrously expensive, branded Nike clothing and accessories.

Junk food restaurants create playgrounds and lurid clowns like Ronald McDonald to lure your kids in and get them hooked on junk food.

Psychiatrists have created “diagnoses” like ADD and ADHD  so they can profit prescribing pharmaceutical psychotropic drugs even to tiny babies, even though the drugs haven’t been tested on children.

Ironically, the problems described as ADD and ADHD most often come from kids eating processed, high-sugar foods, kids trapped indoors, and kids given electronic devices and “entertainment” that entrains their brains to be hyperactive and distracted.

The gender dysphoria and gender reassignment industries tell your kids that their sexual, somatic, and psychological feelings come because “they were born the wrong gender.”

These burgeoning massively profitable industries pathologize and monetize nebulous feelings, reaping stacks of cash from dangerous, needless surgeries, counseling, and hormonal “therapies.”

The gender confusion industry’s marketing is full of false hope and promises.

The sad fact is that many people who buy into a diagnosis of gender dysphoria and get gender reassignment hormonal and/or surgical intervention discover too late that their born physical gender wasn’t the real cause of their problems.

But by then, they’ve been surgically or chemically altered, and sometimes that alteration endangers their physical and emotional health.

The make-up and cosmetics industry wants your daughters to start using their products (many of which are created using animal experimentation) at an earlier and earlier age.

Generalized hedonism culture wants to sexualize your children, and the standard non-vegan diet assists this because intake of meat, poultry, and dairy filled with industrial hormones is causing young girls to reach puberty at earlier and earlier ages.

Media, entertainment, and electronic device corporations want to hook your kids on movies, music, theme parks, computer games, phones, handhelds, and other mindless distractions. They want your kids to be slaves to electronica.

Sexualized music videos are marketed to pre-teens, tweeners, and teenagers.

The Internet is an electronic net, with chat rooms, advertising, entertainment, pornography, and other features where sexual predators and other miscreants lurk like demons, hoping to net your kids.

The military-industrial complex creates video games, ROTC, and other tactics, hoping your kids will love war and consider the military as a career option.

You correctly view your child’s world as a landscape of predators designed to attract them to a baited hook, hook them, and reel them in so they’re captured.

My point is: capitalist society is a predatory system where people with profit agendas are constantly trying to hook your children’s minds to make money off of them.

And the worldwide culture of death symbolized and embodied by the imprisonment, torture, and murder of billions of animals per year is among the most pervasive and societally-accepted predatory traps your children can fall into.

Vegan Parents Are on the Side of the Angels

When your sweet, innocent child, who used to love animals and want to cuddle them, is gradually corrupted by death culture so that he or she starts wanting to eat meat, dairy, fish, or poultry, it’s the same as if your sweet, innocent child started smoking cigarettes, hunting, or engaging in risky, precocious sexual behaviors.

I mean, let’s face it, what life lessons are non-vegan parents teaching their kids?

They’re teaching them it’s ok to create needless suffering and death for billions of animals that have just as much emotional capacity and will to live as the family’s dogs or cats have.

They’re teaching their kids to NOT have empathy, and that it’s ok for the strong to victimize the weak.

That’s what the non-vegan food system is all about: the strong victimizing the weak.

And they’re feeding their kids foods that are bad for them.

None of these are admirable parenting traits.

The good news is that raising a vegan child is more than feeding them the healthiest diet in the world.

It also teaches them character, integrity, self-respect, and respect for others.

A vegan child is a child of ahimsa (non-harm), an empath, a healthy role model, a beacon of kindness and compassion in a world of exploitation and death.

A vegan child is a child whose conscience is clean, who has no blood on his or her hands, who isn’t consuming products created by the death industries.

A Vegan Samurai child is a rare youngster who isn’t afraid to be different when it’s the ethical thing to do, who understands that humans with their dominant paradigms of speciesism and carnism are on the wrong track, are creating a world of hurt.

So be proud and vigilant as you raise your child to be a Vegan Samurai.

Your child will be healthier, happier, and more ethical than non-vegan children.

Your child raised on a plant-based diet will be part of the small but admirable tribe of humans who live ahimsa, who refuse to participate in death culture, and whose hearts and minds are evolved towards kindness, doing what’s right, and standing up for the billions of innocent, sentient beings who deserve better than to be consumed as food and otherwise exploited by our species.

Note that this article doesn’t address a situation where one parent is vegan and the other isn’t, or any other situation in which the children haven’t been raised vegan. I’ll be posting another article about that topic.

And please take a look at this article about a marriage and family dealing with a mixed situation in which the wife is vegan, but her husband and children aren’t.

For more information about vegan parenting, read here, and stay strong because… Vegan Samurai parents are the best parents in the world!

Five Ways Being Vegan Includes More than Not Eating Animals

There’s a form of veganism that a Vegan Samurai calls “Vegan Lite.”

Vegan Lite is…

A person doesn’t consume any food products derived from the capture, domination of, enslavement, torture, or killing of animals.

This includes eggs, dairy, fish, and meat.

The Vegan Lite person limits their vegan activism to their dietary choices.

In contrast, an authentic “Vegan Samurai” refuses to participate in any industry that exploits and harm animals.

Here’s what I mean…

The Vegan Samurai Opposes the Animal Entertainment Industry

The animal entertainment industry includes circuses, Seaworld, zoos, rodeos, dolphin encounter businesses, and other facilities that take animals away from their natural habitats, biological pathways, and social groupings.

The zoo and animal theme park industries claim their facilities educate people about and expose them to animals, but the most pervasive message animal captivity facilities implant in peoples’ heads is that animals have no rights to live as Nature intended, and are ours to capture, cage, and gawk at.

There are limited exceptions one could make for wildlife rehab centers and farm animal sanctuaries, although I’ve seen examples where both of these categories are actually exploiting animals rather than helping them.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Using Animals for Clothing & Other Materials

For centuries, trapping of animals for fur has been one of the most brutal ways humans abuse animals.

In the modern era, so-called “fur farms” imprison, enslave, and often electrocute animals so their furs can be made into fancy coats for humans.

We also see cows, pigs, and other animals skinned alive so leather, pigskin, and other materials can be made into wallets, shoes, gloves, coats, and other items that instead could  be made with materials from non-animal sources.

Animals in the wild are hunted for furs, or for ludicrous uses such as “bearskin rugs.”

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Hunting & Fishing

Other than the few remote, indigenous native peoples whose cultures have no choice but to rely on hunting for sustenance, nobody on the planet needs to hunt to eat.

They do it because they like to kill innocent animals, not because they have to do it.

Hunting and fishing are nothing more than humans invading the homes of other animals, using vehicles, dogs, hooks, boats, overwhelming firepower and other means to murder animals that haven’t done anything wrong, and can’t fight back.

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Vivisection (Animal Experimentation)

The horrors of vivisection in some cases are more disgusting even than the terrible atrocities you see in undercover videos that expose the animal foods industry.

And the “benefits” of vivisection are vastly overstated.

In fact, the defense given for vivisection is that vivisection helps humans develop medical treatments and medicines, and is wholly based on specieism (the belief that our species is more important than all other species).

I’ve spoken to animal experimenters who actually say things like, “If I have to stick electrodes into the heads of kittens so I can help even one human, it’s worth it.”

The real truth is that most vivisection is unnecessary if not inapplicable to human medical needs, experiments can be conducted without animals, and a lot of animal experimentation is conducted for ridiculous purposes, such as the torture done to rabbits by eye make-up companies.

A Vegan Samuria also opposes transgenic experimentation, such as the creation of chimeras that are part non-human animal, part human animal.

We oppose Frankenstein experiments done with animals!

The Vegan Samurai Opposes Animals Used for Labor

Have you seen the incredible movie War Horse?

One of the most powerful scenes is when majestic horses are harnessed and used to pull heavy military equipment, which injures and kills them.

Contrary to the nostalgic way we’ve been taught to look at oxen and horses hooked up to plows and other human machinery, the Vegan Samurai opposes ALL use of animals for labor.

Why? Because animals can never give us explicit, non-coerced, voluntary consent to what we want them to do.

And yes, this includes “service dogs.”

I realize that people who are Vegan Lite may initially feel the Vegan Samurai paradigm is challenging, shocking, or “too extreme.”

But I can assure you the Vegan Samurai paradigm is well-analyzed and totally solid from the perspective of logical, ethical consistency.

If it’s wrong to be a customer of a food industry that imprisons, enslaves, and harms animals, then it’s wrong to be a customer of other industries (such as zoos, aquariums, circuses, animal experimentation labs, rodeos, animal labor, etc.) that also harm animals by imprisoning and harming them.

I urge everyone who’s a vegan to adopt the Vegan Samurai paradigm as described above.

It’s the most all-encompassing, morally-consistent vegan paradigm, and it cleanses you from being a participant in any system that harms animals.

What Happens When a Vegan has a Non-Vegan Lover or Spouse?

One of the most poignant conversations I ever had was with a woman whose deeply-held religious beliefs led her to become a vegan… but her husband didn’t share her views and loved to eat meat, dairy, eggs, and fish.

The marriage was falling apart because of the pair’s divergent dietary choices.

The husband labeled his wife a “looney” and “hippie” for recognizing that harming animals isn’t moral.

The wife labeled her husband immoral for not recognizing that his dietary choices support a system that egregiously harms and kills animals.

There were practical problems as well.

They had children; the woman wondered how she could make vegan meals the children would enjoy and that would also be nutritious.

The wife was eager to make vegan foods for her whole family, but her husband scorned veganism, and insisted she prepare flesh foods.

She ended up spending a lot more time in the kitchen than she wanted to, creating one menu for herself, and another for her family.

She solved part of the problem by using cookbooks such as Kitchen Divided: Vegan Dishes for Semi-Vegan Households, by Ellen Jaffe Jones.

Jones is rather controversial, in that she advises vegans make serious dietary compromises.

Another book she used was Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbookby Isa Moskowitz.

Specifically to please her kids, and to ensure they got good nutrition, she consulted Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes, by Dreena Burton.

But even though vegan foods are tastier and more healthful than non-vegan foods, those cookbooks didn’t solve the marriage’s underlying problems, one of which was that her husband didn’t share her religious view that it’s ethically wrong to harm non-human animals.

The other  problem was deeper and more revealing: the husband wasn’t sensitive to the pain he caused his wife by refusing to even consider going vegan.

The way she saw it, he cared more about satisfying his desire to consume meat, dairy, fish, and eggs than he did about his wife’s conscience and feelings.

This wasn’t the only way he showed indifference to her feelings– he smoked cigarettes.

She’d pleaded with him to give up cigarettes for the sake of his health, the children, and the financial cost of smoking.

But as with his flesh-eating, he didn’t care about the harms he was doing.

He said he liked smoking, it was “too hard” to quit, and he was going to keep on doing it whether she liked it or not.

The couple went to marriage counseling.

The counselor asked the husband to consider the win-win aspects of creating a vegan family, and of giving up cigarettes.

The family’s health would improve.

Their food costs would decrease.

The wife (who did all the cooking) would spend less time cooking.

And most importantly, adopting veganism would show the wife that her husband loved her enough to give up a bad habit in order to avoid harming innocent animals.

I wish there was a happy ending to this story.

The wife spent two years accommodating her husband’s non-vegan diet.

Fortunately, her children became vegan.

Immediately, their health improved. They learned to love vegan foods, and lost all their craving for the regular junk foods, fast foods, and flesh foods that most people eat.

But her husband became more and more intransigent.

Eventually, the woman realized he didn’t love her enough, or in the right way.

“It hurts to say this, but he loved his steaks, fried chicken, and barbecue more than he loved me and the kids,” she told me.

They’re now separated, heading towards divorce.

If you’re in an intimate relationship with a non-vegan, it doesn’t have to end or end badly, but it might.

Being a Vegan Samurai involves sacrifice, and hard choices.

If you’re a vegan intimately involved with a non-vegan, you have to question your own ethics.

If your spouse or lover was involved in dealing heroin, in child molestation, in Wall Street fraud and abuse, or other moral wrongs, would you continue being in love with that person?

Would you feel comfortable giving them the benefits of your body, love, partnership, and care?

Only you can decide if the person you’re intimately involved with is worth staying involved with if they’re a customer of the worldwide system that exploits, tortures, and kills billions of innocent animals every year.

There are many analogies I could use to summarize the situation often described as a “vegan mixed marriage.”

In the Christian Bible, a New Testament teaching advises followers of Christ not to be joined in marriage with an “unbeliever.”

During the American Civil War, families were fractured, brother fought in battle against brother, because some family members believed it was acceptable to own humans as slaves, but others opposed slavery.

When segregation and racist lynchings were still a part of the American experience in the 1960s, families and marriages split up when a family member or spouse refused to reject racism.

When Americans oppose immoral wars, such as the Vietnam War or the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, marriages and other partnerships were torn asunder when a person of conscience refused to be joined intimately with someone who lacked conscience.

Being a vegan is not just a dietary choice… it’s a moral, social, and spiritual issue.

The problems of a mixed marriage involving vegan and non-vegan aren’t just about a crowded refrigerator, logistical problems at meal-time, or a vegan having to see and smell dead animals being consumed at the dinner table.

It’s about right and wrong, empathy, and what people are willing to do to create peace with their own conscience and with those around them.

If you’re a vegan man or woman, sharing your body, sexuality, money, life, heart and mind with someone who eats animal foods, someone voluntarily complicit in the system of genocide and ecocide that torments and kills billions of sentient animals per year, you really have to consider your level of devotion to vegan principles, and to defending innocent animals against the human onslaught.

I personally have turned down explicit offers of sex and romance from attractive women, solely because those women consumed animal foods and wouldn’t consider becoming vegan.

I won’t intimately share my body, mind, or heart with someone who is so cold-hearted.

I hope your devotion to conscience, ethics, and innocent animals, will outweigh your devotion to a human who harms innocent animals.

Living Vegan in the Death Culture

I went to a non-vegan restaurant with friends and was reminded how challenging it is to live vegan in a society founded on animal abuse and the psychological mechanisms that facilitate it.

The three people I had dinner with are all “good” people… a married couple who both had eminently statured careers in academia, and an engineer.

They’re interesting, personable, friendly people whom I respect and care about.

The restaurant was classy, full of diners. The interior had attractive aesthetics.

But I felt uncomfortable because my companions are non-vegans who ordered meals containing cut-up animal parts.

I haven’t seen non-vegan food for a while. It made me sick to see other animals’ breasts and other body parts on a plate.

I studied the menu trying to find vegan options. Out of approximately 25 main entrees or side orders, only two appeared to be vegan.

I asked the waitress if there were any animal products in the items and she said there were not.

My companions questioned me about being vegan. Why  had I done it? What about protein deficiency? Did I miss non-vegan food?

I recommended they read VeganSamurai.org for a full explanation of why I went vegan, but that the short answer is, veganism is the only dietary system that’s good for personal health, environmental health, and animal health.

And that’s when my companions’ cognitive dissonance, deliberate unknowing, and moral evasion became very apparent.

They agreed that veganism is the morally defensible dietary paradigm.

But they cavalierly talked continuing to eat meat, fish, eggs, and dairy even though the animal food industry, and animal foods themselves, are harmful to animals, Nature, and people.

Not only that, one of my companions is severely overweight because of his dietary choices, and suffers greatly because of it.

In an ironic moment, he talked about his addiction to foods that were killing him… as he ate foods that were killing him.

It was if I’d been sitting in a restaurant with companions who casually admitted they were shareholders in or employees of a company that committed genocide or other horrors.

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a self-described “pacifist and anti-war activist” who worked for a military contractor making weapons of war.

I recalled the book and videos by Dr. Melanie Joy who explains that carnism–the belief system that supports the eating of animals– creates moral deadening, denial, and self-delusion.

When my beet salad and veggie burger main course arrived, I looked at them carefully to see if there were any animal components.

I couldn’t see or taste any, but to my dismay, at the end of the meal when I was asking if there were vegan desserts, the waitress told me my salad had had cheese in it.

This explained the queasy, heavy feeling I’d started to experience as soon as I ate the salad.

And I mused to myself that if there was a Church of the Vegan Samurai, I’d have to go to confession and tell the priest, “I need forgiveness, for I’ve eaten foods produced by harming cows,” and seek absolution.

But as of  yet, there is no Church of the Vegan Samurai.

I was left to feel guilt about my inadvertent “cheese sin,” and the incongruous experience of communing with nice people I care about… except they’re willing participants in the violent, dominant culture of speciesism and carnism.

To put it bluntly, my friends support the animal-killing system that to me represents the greatest moral failing of our species.

All of us who truly care about animals realize that living vegan in a death culture means we’re often forced to compromise, camouflage, and “be quiet” when we’re with people who participate in carnism.

We love our family, lovers, friends. We want to “get along” with people.

We don’t want to dislike people for the deliberate, needless sins they commit against innocent animals and the environment.

We grieve for the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other maladies they create for themselves because they eat animal foods and processed foods.

Vegans are the dismayed witnesses to the core immorality that animal-eating represents.

Other than the animal victims themselves, vegans are the only people who viscerally recognize we live in a world dominated by carnistic people and systems that create massive harms and suffering.

This is yet another reason I created the Vegan Samurai concept.

A samurai is a warrior who works hard to stay strong and resolute no matter what battles are looming.

A Vegan Samurai is often alone in a cruel world, surrounded by carnistic people who participate in the genocide against animals.

All you have are your vegan ethics, honor, principles, and strength as antidote to the heartbreak of being part of the only species that enslaves billions of innocent animals, destroys its own health, and trashes the earth.

Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians, Pescatarians & The Vegan Samurai Golden Rule

As a vegan, I’ve had conversations with vegetarians about why they’re not vegan, and every one of those conversations left me with a sad feeling.

Many vegetarians have some of the same ideas that vegans have. They want a healthier diet. They may share our disapproval of food industry abuse of animals.

They may consider themselves lacto-ovo vegetarians—people who consume dairy and eggs but not meat.

They may consider themselves pescatarians—people who consume fish, dairy, and eggs, but not meat.

What I try to help vegetarians and pescatarians understand is that their food comes from exploited, abused animals.

I ask them to consider the clear fact that if they became vegetarian or pescatarian because of moral concerns about animals, that only veganism fully addresses those concerns.

But I’m shocked when vegetarians and pescatarians argue vociferously to defend the exploitation and their consumption of dairy, eggs, or fish.

Pescatarians claim “fish feel no pain.”

Biologist Victoria Braithwaite has definitively shown that not only do fish feel pain, but also they’re intelligent and social animals.

Her book “Do Fish Feel Pain?” accurately and convincingly shows that from a moral and ecological perspective, fish should not be on the menu.

Dairy-consuming vegetarians claim dairy production isn’t as abusive as “meat” production.

I ask all people who consume fish, dairy, and eggs to adopt the Golden Rule of the Vegan Samurai.

This rule is as simple as it has been throughout the ages: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

In the world of the vegan samurai, “others” includes all sentient beings, not just humans.

I’m sure that lacto-ovo vegetarians wouldn’t appreciate having done to them what humans do to dairy cows.

Let’s take a brief look…

First of all, dairy cows are engineered by humans through selective breeding.

Female cows are force-impregnated starting when they’re less than a year old.

Given that cows can never give explicit consent to anything humans do to them, it’s accurate to call this a form of rape or at the very least, sexual abuse.

The force-impregnated female cow carries her baby for nine months, just like a human mom!

Within a few minutes, hours, or days after the calf is born, the “dairy farmer” steals the baby calf from its mother.

This causes the mother cow and her calf serious emotional distress.

Baby cows are often kept under cruel conditions in veal crates.

They’re rarely allowed to see their mother again, and are fed processed “food” instead of the milk meant for them.

In the factory farming dairy businesses that produce the vast majority of dairy products used as milk, cheese, yogurt and other items, female cows are subjected to very rough handling of their “breasts,” aka, udders.

The most sensitive parts of a female cow’s body are subjected to gross abuse in the dairy industry, which is why many dairy cows have infected and damaged udders.

Some vegetarians talk about “humane” dairy farms where lactating female cows are treated a little better.

In rare cases on so-called humane dairy farms, baby cows are allowed to be around their mother, at least for a few weeks until they’re weaned.

Even on so-called humane dairy farms, the simple fact is that a machine or a person handles the cow’s udders, which is totally unnatural… the udders are designed by Nature to be used only by baby cows.

Lactating cows are fed a vast array of chemicals and hormones, and many are sprayed with toxic pesticides.

In factory farms, cows are kept in prison conditions, standing in stalls, separated from their young, suffering from infected udders, totally unable to live the life Nature intended for them.

And of course, dairy cows are force-impregnated over and over, until they reach the end of their productive life, after which they’re slaughtered for meat.

When vegetarians who consume dairy products are confronted with the facts about how female cows and their babies are treated, they struggle to justify their continued use of dairy.

Sometimes they get angrily defensive. The same holds true for pescatarians and people who eat eggs.

At that point, I ask the person:

If a group of cows imprisoned you, force-impregnated you, pumped you full of hormones, sprayed you with poisons, stole your baby from you at birth, and attached machines to your breasts to take milk meant for your human baby and give it to a baby cow, would that be acceptable to you?

If the person is a pescatarian I ask:

If someone put a hook in you or netted you, captured you, hit you over the head or suffocated you, and then gutted you, would that be acceptable to you?

If the person consumes eggs, I ask:

If someone reached into your ovaries and took your eggs and fried them or scrambled them, would that be ok with you?

If the person I’m speaking with is a male, I ask him to imagine these scenarios being done to his wife, sister, mother, or other female he cherishes.

The lacto-ovo vegetarian or the pescatarian quickly says it’s not acceptable for those abovementioned scenarios to happen to them.

I then ask: if it’s not ok for someone to do it to you, how is it ok for you to pay someone to do it to another animal on your behalf?

As you can imagine, there’s no answer they can give that’s consistent with moral logic, ethics, or compassion.

That’s why one of the main tenets of the Vegan Samurai code is the following, and I urge you to remember this always:

Being vegan is the only wholly ethical dietary choice.

Who Does the Vegan Samurai Protect?

As you become familiar with the Vegan Samurai warrior code, it’s useful to remember that original ancient samurai were sworn warriors who served the most powerful individuals or social organizations, such as emperors or clans.

This was centuries ago. Crucial differences between today’s vegan samurai and ancient samurai are that a Vegan Samurai isn’t sworn to serve a patriarch, emperor, or military commander.

Nor does a Vegan Samurai use an arsenal of deadly weapons and other martial arts to fight actual physical battles.

So why do I say a vegan samurai is a warrior, and on whose behalf does the vegan samurai fight?

I became a vegan samurai after seeing “undercover” videos and photographs taken at facilities where animals are raised, entrapped, killed, or processed for food, for animal experimentation, or for animal entertainment.

I could relate to the helplessness and suffering of these animals because as a child I was a victim of violent bullying that resulted in physical injury.

I still vividly remember how it felt to be powerless, small, hemmed-in, attacked by cruel humans.

Classmates and even some adults stood back passively while I was attacked.

I cried out for help, but witnesses turned away and left me to suffer alone.

Later on, when my parents reported the incidents to school administrators and even the police, none of the witnesses had the courage to come forward to identify the bullies.

When I saw animal abuse videos and photographs, I immediately identified with the animals, and wanted to be their protector and defender.

Giving voice to the voiceless and defense to the defenseless is a saying I’ve heard and repeated as I’ve gotten more into animal liberation and animal rights.

People with conscience rush to the aid of someone who’s being victimized, especially if the victim is clearly unable to escape or fight back.

So when I decided to give up my weak attempts to be a vegetarian eating mostly organic foods from health stores and take the plunge by going 100% vegan, my resoluteness was bolstered by my desire to protect and defend animals.

The original samurai used martial arts hand-to-hand fighting, along with samurai swords and other war hardware.

They faced extreme physical danger as a matter of honor, and in service to their emperor or other master.

Vegan samurai don’t fight that way. We use words, ideas, images, political lobbying, and lifestyle choices on behalf of animals.

We do face danger and staunch opposition because we’re vegan, but it’s usually not physical danger.

It’s the danger of being an empathic, morals-focused person defending a group of exploited beings in a society that generally scoffs at morals, empathy, and the rights of non-human animals.

In some cases, a vegan faces subtle or overt forms of social ostracism or logistical exclusion.

Vegan travelers, especially in air travel systems or hotels, often find it impossible to source a wide range of vegan food items.

In some families, marriages, or workplaces, vegans are viewed with suspicion, scorn, or even hostility.

We’re tagged as being “scolds,” “judgmental,” “OCD,” “food cops,” party poopers or weirdoes because we refuse to be customers of those who exploit and harm animals.

In fact, vegans are relentlessly slagged on YouTube and in other media venues, and are often subjected to harassment when they make a stand on behalf of innocent animals.

This  may sound blunt or harsh, but people who deliberately harm innocent animals, or whose dietary choices support such harms, could well be described as enemies of those animals.

Given that those animals are the beings I fight for, I see being a vegan means I’m participating in an epic battle between good and evil.

How else can you describe a battle in which your opponents just don’t care that they’re inflicting terrible suffering on other beings?

A vegan samurai also fights internal battles.

We struggle with our own food desires. For example, I was raised eating meat, dairy, fish, and eggs.

When I’m hungry after exercising, and walking past steakhouses and other animal-exploiting food businesses that export their cooking smells into the air, I sometimes feel intense craving for animal-derived foods.

I feel like an alcoholic sworn to never take another drink again, lest I fall off the wagon and lose the battle with alcoholism.

But I won’t give in to those food cravings. I owe it to the animals to stay true to my vegan samurai code.

The main thing to remember is that the vegan samurai’s honor code includes this tenet:

I’ll always stay true to my vegan principles, because I’m defending those who can’t defend themselves.